Caster Semenya has vowed to continue her fight against a ban that prevents her from competing in her preferred 800m event after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics at alternative distances.
The two-time defending 800m Olympic champion is banned from competing in any race from 400m to a mile.
World Athletics ruled in 2018 that to ensure fair competition, women with high natural testosterone levels must take medication to reduce them to compete in middle-distance races.
But Semenya, who refuses to take any medication to alter her testosterone levels, will continue her battle against the ruling despite losing several appeals over the past two years.
“The ban doesn’t make sense at all. But hey, that’s none of my business,” she told Belgian television after finishing fourth in a 5000m race in Liege on Wednesday.
“I’ll leave it up to the right people to handle the situation. I’ll keep fighting for my rights.”
The 30-year-old South African has taken her case to the European Court of Human Rights, but that process is unlikely to be completed for months.
In the meantime, she failed in a long shot bid to go to the Games, first in the 200m and then at 5000m.
She began last year trying the 200m as an alternative, and lowered her personal best but was still well outside of the Olympic qualifying mark.
Semenya then abandoned those plans in favour of the much longer distance as she said she feared injury.
But at 5000m she also proved unable to finish inside the qualifying mark.
Her last effort in Liege would not have counted anyway as it was after the deadline for Olympic entries.
Semenya’s future is now distinctly unclear.
“Of course I hope the rule changes. I’m an 800-metre runner. There’s no doubt about that,” she said.
“I keep hoping that I can run my preferred number.
“But right now my focus is on being healthy, to be an inspiration for young athletes.
“I will continue to fight for my rights.”